Plains, trains and . . .

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Crammed in the National Express bus, aiming for Woking. Clif Bar for breakfast, my kingdom for a cup of tea. Tight quarters, I can’t bend my elbow well enough to hit the Y on the keyboard. Free wi-fi, on a bus, not bad. Technology is amazing, I remember searching for international access phone numbers for AOL on trips like this. Now we have wireless on a bus. Fresh from the overnight flight from Washington Dulles. Fresh, a stretch, but Virgin Atlantic, yet again, provided a comfortable ride, managed an aisle seat in the front row, empty seat to my right, feet up, Racing Post Cheltenham guide entertaining me for the first part, Silver Linings Playbook the second. Fell asleep somewhere along the time the Eagles were losing to the Giants and had to catch the end after a kip. Good movie.

On to racing.

The constant barrage of Cheltenham talk takes a short rest today for a stellar card at Sandown. Valdez takes his place in the Imperial Cup, his handicap debut. Ground has gone against him, it poured last night, and it’s a deep 24-horse field. Nice horse, still improving, hope he handles the acidity of the test. Our goal is to win a race at Cheltenham, we are getting closer, at least we have a runner in the Saturday feature before Cheltenham. Some day, some day.

As anybody knows, I love racing over here. If I could have been anybody, I would have been Tony McCoy, champion jockey for, what, 17 years in a row now? Even when I’m dreaming, I can’t imagine riding races again, so my mind turns to owning. What I like about owning, when your horse runs, it’s a bonus day. If I could be anybody, I would be J.P. McManus, owner of a treasure trove of National Hunt horses, spread around Ireland and Britain. Every day is a bonus.

Well, the bus has stopped. Welcome to Woking. Gotta go.